Throughout the year tests are often a key source of stress for students, but this can be avoided. Students often feel overwhelmed or scared, even when they have studied. The problem isn’t usually that students don’t study, they do. The problem is that they don’t know how to study for different subjects, especially math. We hope to show you different resources and ways of studying so you can ace your next test.
Bad Study Habits
We all have bad habits when it comes to studying. Many people believe that these habits are harmless, but they can do some damage on your overall education. They may seem to be the low hanging fruits; maybe the test is tomorrow and it’s midnight, but breaking them will do much more in the long run. The following unhealthy habits should be broken.
- Multitasking. Killing two birds with one stone will not help you. As written by Harvard Medical School, “Multitasking increases the chances of making mistakes and missing important information and cues” (Patrick J. Skerrett, 2012). Just take it slow. Your teacher will understand if you have other things going on in your life. This, however, is not an excuse to avoid studying. The best way to avoid multitasking is to prioritize your tasks. For example, if you have the choice between working on a major project and reading some pages, work on the project first.
- Cramming. Cramming for a test will probably do more harm than good. While it may force information into your brain, it also causes panic and sleep deprivation. American Intercontinental University writes, “Waiting until the last minute to “cram” can be counterproductive. If you’re panicking about an imminent assignment, essay, or exam, you’re less likely to perform as well” (2012).
Next time you need to study for a test, try not to multitask or cram. Save yourself from the stress, fatigue, blood, sweat, and tears. Instead, use some of the tips for studying below.
- Try the pomodoro technique. Work for a set amount of time and then take regular breaks. You can find tons of apps and timers on the App Store. All of them work, but you might prefer certain formats and layouts over others.
- Even before you study, you should be taking and revising your notes. While you are studying you should be revising and making sure you review your notes. Notes should be concise, and useful to you.
- Use Google Calendar to plan your study sessions and when the test is.
- Use the reminders app on your iPad with google calendar to make sure you get study time in.
Studying for Math
It’s not possible to study for math. The only thing you can do is practice. Sure, you can use flashcards and learn vocabulary but that’s about it. Instead, you should be finding problems to practice with. Here are some good places to find math studying resources:
- Your textbook. Yes, surprisingly enough your math textbook doesn’t have to be a source of pain and suffering. Using your textbook to quiz you on problems as well as vocabulary is a great way to study. Find your chapter, subject, and then problems you can practice. Not to mention that textbooks also provide explanations and often show how to do a problem.
- Khan Acadamy (khanacademy.org). Khan academy was made for math students. It has detailed, useful video explanations (with visuals and examples!) as well as practice problems. If you register an account you can gain points and have fun while doing math.
- Slader (slader.com). Slader has tons, and tons of textbook answers. Search for your textbook, enter a page number, and bam. You have answers! This is a great way to check your work while studying, however not ok for doing homework or other assignments.
- Review your notes. This is a no brainer, you should be looking over your notes and reviewing concepts and example problems.
- Make an organized study guide and study checklist.
- Use your homework to study.
Whatever language you may take, whether it be Latin, French, or Spanish, you will need to study for a test or quiz at some point. Studying for language means learning grammar and practicing vocabulary for the most part, so focusing on flash cards and your notes are probably the way to go. Some memorization might be involved. Here are our favorite resources:
- Quizlet. This is a require app that you should definitely have. Quizlet has the best flash card format, and is the easiest to use. As long as you have an account you can use it in your web browser, or as an app. Quizlet has amazing ways to study with games, flashcards, spelling tests, and a final test which you can choose, to find out what you have to work on. It makes what you get wrong the most come up the most in your flashcards and games, so that you know everything equally well. Going through every section, you can learn vocabulary in a night, and remember it for weeks.
- Tiny Cards. Duolingo’s flash card app is great. It has premade study sets for common subjects like the periodic table, and also lets you use other people’s study sets. Don’t worry though, you can make your own. You can also add images to your flashcards if you are a visual learner.
- Study Blue. Basically a slightly different version of Quizlet. You do need to register an account, but it doesn’t cost anything.
- NOTES. REVIEW THEM. TAKE THEM.
- Make an organized study guide and checklist.
Science will mostly be memorizing concepts and vocabulary. Using flashcard apps, reviewing your notes, and making a study guide is a good idea. Most of the resources we use are listed above, but here they are again:
- Tiny cards (app by duolingo)
- Your notes
- Study guide
Social Studies has a big focus on dates, names, places, and events. Quizlet is my go to option to learn names and terms, but isn’t necessarily useful for everything. Learning events might mean using your textbook, taking notes, etc.
- Quizlet. The “learn” mode in Quizlet is great for memorizing dates, names, and terms.
- Notes. The best way for studying historical events is to take good notes in class. You may be someone who puts too much effort into their notes, or someone who puts too little effort into their notes. Neither of these are adequate for proper studying. People who obsess over their notes tend not to pay attention in class as well because they’re focused on their notes. On the contrary, people who don’t take enough notes might not understand their notes. As long as you know what you’re writing about, your notes are good.
- Using your textbook. This may not apply to some students because they might not use a textbook. If you do use a textbook and take it home every night, this is a great strategy for studying for a test. Textbook users require minimal notes, because most of the information is in the textbook. However, notes are still highly recommended.
Tests and quizzes in Language Arts will usually be on books or chapters of books. Make sure to review major plot points in the book, and even try writing them down. Make a plot pyramid to see how your book works. Here are our favorite resources:
- Your book. As you read, or skim, make sure to use sticky notes to mark down important ideas or sections. Often in L.A. you will be asked to write short essay responses, or short writing answers. So make sure to prepare answers for possible questions using notes from your book.
- Previous projects or assignments. Look through your previous work, there’s a good chance that skills or subjects that you worked on will come up again. Even if they don’t, most of the time L.A. is about learning how to improve your reading and writing skills. Make sure to review.
- Quizlet. It’s generally great for everything.
- Make diagrams to make sense of your book.
- Collaborate with your friends to create a study guide. Some friends might catch important details that you didn’t.
- Use www.ixl.com/ela/ to improve your writing through interactive features. It has all grades.
We hope that this was useful to you, and that in the future you study, and do well on your tests!